Skip to comments.What Makes a Republican - a REPUBLICAN?
Posted on 03/12/2002 11:34:12 PM PST by ThePythonicCow
We have spent the better part of the last half century forgetting the reasons that Republicans are part of an American First tradition and the real meaning of the GOP. Just what are the principles and policies that separate the platform of Republicans from that of the Socialists that wear the Democratic label? Sorry to say, not much of a difference presently exists; let alone a dedication to enact legislation that counters the legacy of FDR. It wasn't like this - once upon a time . . . For Republicans knew what they were all about and had an example of a true champion of principle in one, Senator Robert A. Taft.
Taft is most famous for his opposition to Franklin Roosvelt's New Deal Legislation and policies. He has been called the last "Old Right" political. While some may conclude that this description points out that we have 'moved on', the essential question remains. Were the policies of Taft the real essence of Republicanism? Principles never die, changing circumstances only seek out appropriate applications. Liberty of the individual was the hallmark of Taft that earned him the name, Mr Republican. The New Deal's expansion of federal power at the expense of state and local government is incompatible with the core bedrock of Republican philosophy. Taft vigorously urged economy in government and restoration of balanced budgets, while supporting a very limited role in foreign affairs. He voted against NATO, supported strong tariffs, opposed the draft and sponsored legislation that bears his name, the Taft-Hartley Law.
If Republicanism isn't about opposing the Federal Income Tax and the Federal Reserve System, just what did the party ever stand for to begin with?
When it comes to foreign policy, the last century is one of "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace". Taft speaks directly to this point:
"Fundamentally, I believe the ultimate purpose of our foreign policy must be to protect the liberty of the people of the United States. The American Revolution was fought to establish a nation "conceived in liberty." That liberty has been defended in many wars since that day. That liberty has enabled our people to increase steadily their material welfare and their spiritual freedom. To achieve that liberty we have gone to war, and to protect it we would go to war again . . .
Only second to liberty is the maintenance of peace. . . . Our traditional policy of neutrality and non-interference with other nations was based on the principle that this policy was the best way to avoid disputes with other nations and to maintain the liberty of this country without war. From the days of George Washington that has been the policy of the United States. It has never been isolationism; but it has always avoided alliances and interference in foreign quarrels as a preventive against possible war, and it has always opposed any commitment by the United States, in advance, to take any military action outside of our territory. It would leave us free to interfere or not according to whether we consider the case of sufficiently vital interest to the liberty of this country. It was the policy of the free hand."
In his book, Principles Without Program: Senator Robert A. Taft and American Foreign Policy - he conveys his views as core Republican principles that are as valid today as they were when originally written. So why does the Republican Party work overtime to run in lock step with the Socialism of the New Frontier, Great Society and New World Order? The answer is obvious, the Republicanism has been removed from the party and has been replaced with a neo-conservatism sham that is a betrayal of America's tradition.
How many remember the names of these brave leaders that fought so hard to retain the promise of the American way of life? Just what was their cause and why do most Republicans ignore their heritage? Taft sums up nicely the purpose of their task:
"There are a good many Americans who talk about an American century in which America will dominate the world.... If we confine our activities to the field of moral leadership we shall be successful if our philosophy is sound and appeals to the people of the world. The trouble with those who advocate this policy is that they really do not confine themselves to moral leadership. They are inspired by the same kind of New Deal planned-control ideas abroad as recent Administrations have desired to enforce at home. In their hearts they want to force on these foreign people through the use of American money and even, perhaps, arms, the policies which moral leadership is able to advance only through the sound strength of its principles."
Robert Taft believed in the "Federalism" model of the American Republic. His faith was in basic American values and the abilities of the people to seek Liberty. Achieving this goal requires that such liberty is founded upon an economic system based on free enterprise, a political system based on citizen participation, and national independence and sovereignty for our country.
Internationalist Republicans have become mutants, with the abdication of purpose for their party. Just what is the point of having two shades of the same color when that hue is one and the same in Socialism. If you say the debate is over and the future belongs to the most popular collectivist, then America is already deceased.
Even under the great Ronald Reagan, the Departments of Education and Energy continued. Just look at the record! When was the last time a 'so called' conservative remained ardent in the fight against social democracy? Taft's principles are timeless because they represent the best chance for the freedom of a free people. Or does that idea scare so many, that Liberty is no longer our mutual objective? With the dawn of this new century, it is time to remember the common sense of past generations and devote ourselves to the reinvention of practical policies that apply those principles to our current condition. Anything short of this reformation, will confirm that the GOP has lost it's way. Rediscover what a Republican really means . . .
© 2002 SARTRE
When I figure out an answer to that, I will write a book and make millions. Because you both are right, and the answer is elusive.
Right now it is very frustrating to be a conservative. Or at least that is how I feel.
It isn't being taken seriously enough now to cause such a rift, but there are the usual suspects trying to get it there. Unless there is a marked breakthrough in things, I would imagine that in a quarter century or so, they will have the idea pushed enough that it will be actually being considered.
And that is when the trouble begins...
Just my guess
As soon as I see Taft being discussed in a serious and thoughtful manner, then you have my attention! :-D
Was Taft an isolationist? Depends on the definition of the word. Yes, he opposed American imperialism or expansionism. However, he also felt strongly that we should be part of an international order, favored the establishment of some sort of world court based on the rule of law, felt the problem with the League of Nations was that it did not have enough authority. He was in favor of tarriffs, but also opposed governmental intervention in trade (and yes, this was a contradictory stance). He felt that we should have unfettered trade as much as was possible without damaging our industries at home.
He was very much a constitutionalist, but at the same time he also felt that the federal government had a role in education; MAF, if you get around to it you could provide the quote by looking in the index for the page where Taft talks about the role of education.
What makes Taft such an intruiging persona to me is that both the Buchanan brigade and the Bushies both could look at their guy and say that he represents what Taft was about; he was the best of both factions wrapped up in one, but without any of the now-requisite charisma.
He is by far and away my favorite old-time politician, and his philosophy and teachings are misrepresented entirely too often, much in the same way that Barry Goldwater's are.
We could use some more Tafts and Goldwaters (before he got old and started losing his conservatism) these days. And if they were around, you know where they would be?
Front and center within the Republican party.
but it seems that the Republicans have been dancing in the blood of 9/11 for a police stateEither you are a Green party member at heart, or you were brought up by enough of those types that you speak the language even if you don't buy their shit wholeheartedly.
There is no reference to "education" under Taft and no reference to "Taft" under education in the index. I'll have to read the book to find the quote you're looking for. Ping me again in a month. lol.
Basically, he was talking about how the Feds had a responsibility to be involved, but that every benefit provided must be wedded to a responsibility by the people.
Taft was the original compassionate conservative.
Woops! Better bend over and pick up that marble that just fell out there! Wouldn't wanna lose that! LOL
But I would offer that this is unlikely to change (an understatement) so a much wiser thing to do would be to learn to use the system as it exists to our advantage. I would also offer that the US has done pretty well over its history with a primarily two party system, and that nations with many parties have not done as well.
I like the Club for Growth's model. Find RINOs in safe districts and work to defeat them in the primary. Best of both worlds.
Either you are a Green party member at heart, or you were brought up by enough of those types that you speak the language even if you don't buy their shit wholeheartedly.
Wrong on both counts...
My GOP and conservative credentials are as long as you can get for someone 34 years old. It does not take a genius to see that the GOP is signing on to making the country more "secure" at the expense of personal liberty. John Ashcroft may be a fine Christian conservative, but how do you square the whole Patriot Act? GWB is touted as a "conservative" by most FReepers, but how do you discount all the "bi-partisanship" he displays. I hope you like having your party and your president repeal your First Amendment. The GOP runs the House, the GOP has more than enough votes to block cloture in the Senate, and the GOP president is going to sign a repeal of the First Amendment. The GOP sponsored the bill.
How are school vouchers coming along? What do you think of the GOP running the government that wants to tap your e-mail and monitor any phone you pick up. Islamic terrorists killed a few thousand of our citizens, and we can't profile them, because we want the NYT to like us. No, we shake down everyone in the name of fairness. Guns in the cockpit to prevent future attacks? Hell, no!!! Your GOP president put a liberal in charge of the DOT, and gun searches happen to every car that enters many airport garages (not the secure areas of the airport). How is that for the 4th and 2nd Amendment protections?
The Great Gringo was going to allow a few million more Mexican peasants into our social welfare system, but then 9/11 slowed him down. Now, we hear that it is still under consideration. Too bad he doesn't speak broken Norweigan.
How many times does the GOP have to stab conservatives in the back before we throw the RINOs out of power? Judging by all the FReepers watching GWB like crazed spider monkeys watching the banana channel, it seems like we have a ways to go.
A GOP police state is no better than a liberal police state. At least with the liberal police state, it will be staffed with morons.
Pass the jingoistic kool-aid...
This is overemotional dishonest rhetoric worthy of a leftist.
The government has wanted "roving wire taps" for years, but lacked the political muscle to get it through Congress and the courts. This would enable them to monitor any citizen, on any phone, without a warrant on only the flimsiest of evidence. It is kinda like the old East German STASI, but I reach too far back into history (1985).
The bodies were still warm from 9/11 when I saw Ashcroft with my own two eyes state that this is a good time for roving wire taps. This kind of gov't power would not have stopped Atta and his vermin from killing our fellow countrymen, because the gov't did not know what the Atta and crew were doing in the first place, just like they don't have the foggiest idea what the hordes of aliens are doing in our country (and they don't care, BTW). The same gov't that thinks the repeal of the 4th Amendment (and the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, & 10th for that matter) would solve terrorism, granted Atta a VISA six months to the day after we knew he committed the biggest crime in our history. WTFO?
So, Ms. AntiFeminazi, take your dimwitted view of recent events, and your penchant for mislabeling folks that bring up things which are uncomfortable to you, and go back to drinking that mind-numbing swill that all those RINO-republicans have you drinking and keep telling yourself
"...If we only let the Left win on a few more items, they will have peace with us and allow us to implement our programs..."
Sometimes we all have to look in the mirror and admit the people we support can be backstabbers and liars.
What would Madison say about the modern GOP?
Find RINOs in safe districts and work to defeat them in the primary. Best of both worlds.
The new Incumbent Protection Act will make that a virtual impossibility.
And if there was a single more Republican Senator, it would never have made it to the floor- and there were a few losses in November 2000 that might not have happened if not for the votes siphoned off by 3rd party candidates on the right (see Washington state).
The Great Gringo was going to allow a few million more Mexican peasants into our social welfare system, but then 9/11 slowed him down. Now, we hear that it is still under consideration. Too bad he doesn't speak broken Norweigan.Am I reading this right? You would prefer some Norweigan immigrants to Mexicans? Why is that? Something about a European culture?
Why can't we replace a 'McCain' with a 'Helms' in the first place?
And I think that the first place to start is not Congress, but the RNC.